Tuesday, January 09, 2007

New Xbox 360 with HDMI angers early adopters?

Will there be throngs of bloodthirsty 1st gen Xbox 360 owners because of this? I'm actually surprised that some gamers are already throwing temper tantrums.

I think people are forgetting that most users don't have HDTV so the addition of a HDMI port really isn't that big of a deal at this point of time. Until HDTV penetration at least doubles, the concern is low. Another thing to consider is that many "cheap" HDTV's may not even have HDMI, and those models will be mobbed up first.

Maybe I'm biased because I like component better. Analog HD is easier on my eyes because it provides a little softness which smooths out the overall picture. DVI/HDMI on the other hand, seem to be too razor sharp and it's almost painful to look at. Not to mention it exacerbates the blue/green screen effect that HD video sometimes has (it makes people look like cardboard cutouts). Adjustments can be made to counter these problems, but then the supposed benefit is lost.

Either way, why not slap an HDMI port on there if they can? Did people get mad because the slimline PS2 was well...slim, and and came with a (useless) built-in modem and network card? No, they didn't. What's the problem here? This upgrade doesn't even require a proprietary cable. As an early adopter, I don't see a problem myself. This is one of the risks of buying early.

As far as the prospects of a bigger hard drive, that's where people should be getting upset. $99 for a 20GB HDD is insane, and I'm really disappointed on how MS prices some of their accessories (i.e. WiFi adapter @ $99, PNP kit @ $20, AV cables @ $20-40). According to this pricing, a 120GB Hard drive should be $499, which would be outright ridiculous. Obviously, they won't do such a thing because they have a choice unlike the PSP and it's $300 multi-gigabyte flash memory cards.

I still insist that Microsoft should do away with the HDD-less model of the 360, and upgrade the core with the 20GB HDD and the Premium with a 60+GB HDD. Hell, make a Platinum version with HDMI, wireless headset and a 120GB HDD for $500.

I wouldn't consider three models out of the question, but they could simply drop the "core" idea altogether. Everyone needs a hard drive, Microsoft. The HDD is one of the few things Sony got right amid their PS3 conundrums.


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